The Influence of Gravity on Single Crystallization in Large Volume Drops


The chemical, physical, and biological properties of more than two millions of proteins which follow to be synthesized by Pharmaceutical Industry, can be anticipated (by using their XRD diffrac-tograms) if they will be grown from aqueous drops as high quality, large volume single-crystals. This is not a simple task and usually the growing process is seen as art rather than a science. The growing is expensive, time consuming, and finally an amorphous aggregate may result instead one single-crystal. In this article, we show for the first time how one single crystal can be grown in large volume hanging drops through their fast evaporation. The single nucleation is determined by choosing the proper sense of gravitational force relative to the drop triple line contact. In a special configuration, single-crystals of glycine and threonine were rapidly grown.

Share and Cite:

Sandu, I. , Iordache, I. , Fleaca, C. , Dumitrache, F. and Niculescu, A. (2014) The Influence of Gravity on Single Crystallization in Large Volume Drops. Journal of Crystallization Process and Technology, 4, 206-211. doi: 10.4236/jcpt.2014.44025.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] Ramiasa, M., Ralston, J., Fetzer, R. and Sedev, R. (2014) The Influence of Topography on Dynamic Wetting. Advances in Colloid and Interface Science, 206, 275-293.
[2] Bonn, D. (2009) Wetting and Spreading. Reviews of Modern Physics, 81, 739-804.
[3] Das, A.K. and Das, P.K. (2010) Equilibrium Shape and Contact Angle of Sessile Drops of Different Volumes—Computation by SPH and Its Further Improvement by DI. Chemical Engineering Science, 65, 4027-4037.
[4] Sumeh, P.T. and Guvindarajan, R. (2010) The Possible Equilibrium Shapes of Static Pendant Drops. The Journal of Chemical Physics, 133, Article ID: 144707.
[5] Song, H., Lee, Y., Jin, S., Kim, H.Y. and Yoo, J.Y. (2011) Prediction of Sessile Drop Evaporation Considering Surface Wettability. Microelectronic Engineering, 88, 3249-3255.
[6] Yu, Y.S., Wang, Z.Q. and Zhao, Y.P. (2013) Experimental Study of Evaporation of Sessile Water Droplet on PDMS Surfaces. Acta Mechanica Sinica, 29, 799-805.
[7] Picknett, R.G. and Bexon, R. (1977) The Evaporation of Sessile or Pendant Drops in Still Air. Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, 61, 336-350.
[8] Deegan, R.D., Bakajin, O., Todd, F., Dupont, T.F., Huber, G., Nagel, R.S. and Witten, T.A. (1997) Capillary Flowasthe Cause of Ring Stains Fromdried Liquid Drops. Nature, 389, 827-829.
[9] Murisic, N. and Kondic, L. (2011) On Evaporation of Sessile Drops with Moving Contact Lines. Journal of Fluid Mechanics, 679, 219-246.
[10] Tadmor, R. and Yadav, P.S. (2008) As-Placed Contact Angles for Sessile Drops. Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, 317, 241-246.
[11] Chhasatia, V.H., Joshi, A.S. and Sun, Y. (2010) Effect of Relative Humidity on Contact Angle and Particle Deposition Morphology of an Evaporating Colloidal Drop. Applied Physics Letters, 97, Article No. 231909.
[12] Ramos, S. and Tanguy, A. (2006) Pinning-Depinning of the Contact Line on Nanorough Surfaces. The European Physical Journal E, 19, 433-440.
[13] Sandu, I. and Fleaca, C.T. (2011) The Influence of Gravity on the Distribution of the Deposit Formed onto a Substrate by Sessile, Hanging, and Sandwiched Hanging Drop Evaporation. Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, 358, 621- 625.
[14] Hampton, M.A., Nguyen, T.A., Nguyen, A.V., Xu, Z.P., Huang, L. and Rudolph, V. (2012) Influence of Surface Orientation on the Organization of Nanoparticles in Drying Nanofluid Droplets. Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, 377, 456-462.
[15] Sear, R.P. (2007) Nucleation: Theory and Applications to Protein Solutions and Colloidal Suspensions. Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter, 19, Article No. 033101.
[16] Volmer, M. (1939) Kinetic der Phasenbildung (Steinkopff, Dresden, Leipzig).
[17] Shahidzadeh-Bonn, N., Rafai, S., Bonn, D. and Wegdam, G. (2008) Salt Crystallization during Evaporation: Impact of Interfacial Properties. Langmuir, 24, 8599-8605.
[18] Rodriguez-Navarro, C. and Doehne, E. (1999) Salt Weathering: Influence of Evaporation Rate, Supersaturation and Crystallization Pattern. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, 24, 191-209.
[19] Rusanov, A.I., Shchekin, A.K. and Tatyanenko, D.V. (2004) The Line Tension and the Generalized Young Equation: the Choice of Dividing Surface. Colloids and Surfaces A: Physicochemical and Engineering Aspects, 250, 263-268.
[20] Shapiro, B., Moon, H., Garell, R.L. and Kim, C.J. (2003) Equilibrium Behavior of Sessile Drops under Surface Tension, Applied External Fields, and Material Variations. Journal of Applied Physics, 93, 5794-5811.
[21] Erdmann, V.A., Lippmann, C., Betzel, C., Dauter, Z., Wilson, K., Hilgenfeld, R., et al. (1989) Crystallization of Proteins under Microgravity. FEBS Letters, 259, 194-198.
[22] Snell, E.H. and Helliwell, J.R. (2005) Macromolecular Crystallization in Microgravity. Reports on Progress in Physics, 68, 799-853.
[23] Grossier R. and Veesler, S. (2009) Reaching One Single and Stable Critical Cluster through Finite-Sized Systems. Crystal Growth & Design, 9, 1917-1922.
[24] Chayen, N.E. and Saridakis, E. (2008) Protein Crystallization: From Purified Protein to Diffraction-Quality Crystal. Nature Methods, 5, 147-153.
[25] Garcia-Ruiz, J.M. (2003) Nucleation of Protein Crystals. Journal of Structural Biology, 142, 22-31.

Copyright © 2023 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.